Nate Mell, Felt and Fat Owner, Explores Why Everyone Should Take a Gap Year (or 4) After High School

Four years of high school flies by quicker than most expect, and soon enough, that time in life starts coming to an end. Being a senior in high school often is accompanied by the pressure to pursue college after graduation. However, it is entirely okay to think twice about immediately running off to gain a degree at a university or college.

Nate Mell, Felt and Fat owner and operator, believes that everyone should at least explore the option of a gap year after high school. Mell highlights several benefits in doing so below.

Gain Time to Think

In high school, life can seem to move fast between school, sports, friends, and extracurricular activities. Time seems to pass so quickly that it can often be challenging to find enough downtime to take a moment and honestly think about the next steps after graduation. Choosing a gap year can open the door to a breath of fresh air and slow down life for a while for serious reflection. During a gap year, recent graduates can take the time to consider the most proactive personal next steps in life through evaluating personal goals and focusing on developing new skills of interest.

Consider Traveling

Designating a year off after high school is the perfect time for you to pack your bags and take a trip in the name of global exploration. Travel presents the opportunity to experience an entirely different culture for an extended period of time. The beautiful part about such an experience is that it offers a humble realization that your culture is not the center of the world. It also allows you to meet a diverse range of new people and learn from what lessons they have learned in life.

Save Some Money

College is not cheap, and if you are tight on money from the start, having to live with student loans years after earning your degree can set you back in most cases. Take advantage of a gap year before spending thousands of dollars right off the bat, and reflect on what you want to pursue. A forward motion step to make is getting an entry-level job or internship in an industry that you see aligning with your personal interests. The experience will give you a better understanding of the reality of what specific sectors ask of their employees. If you are lost on what your core interests are, consider trying different hobbies to pinpoint enjoyable and natural found skills.

Develop Independence

An incredible journey to take on that will benefit you, in the long run, is striving to be on your own, and learning what life is like to survive independently. Developing independence helps you to become more focused on the things that motivate you and build more maturity.

Take Time to Give Back

Giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding, humbling, and eye-opening experiences to endeavor as a recent high school graduate. Taking on the opportunity to explore volunteer work and understand what it means to give back to a community can teach proactive life lessons on being a better team player in the community and life. Volunteering can also essentially lead to bigger and better connections through meeting like-minded people.

About Nate Mell

Nate Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt and Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio serving both professional and at-home chefs. Mell started the Philadelphia-based company in 2014 after graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and working at the world-renown Philadelphia Clay Studio.